Exterior Painting in cold weather


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Old 01-09-04, 11:50 AM
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Exterior Painting in cold weather

We are building a new house and the painters painted the exterior of the house yesterday & today. I am concerned because of the cold temperatures. We live in an area south of Kansas City and the temperatures were: yesterday low was 25F and the high was 43F. It was sunny yesterday, but they painted the back side (shaded side) of the house then.
Today started out at 26F and is now 30F at 1PM, cloudy & breezy all day so far. They painted the front side today.

Eariler this week the temp's were in the single digits and mid teens. They painted the house with a sprayer.

Everything I have ever read about painting was that the minimum temp is around 40F. How is this going to effect my paint job & its longevity? I am reasonably certain they did not wash any of the exterior walls & did minimal exterior prep prior to spraying. I obvisouly had no choice about the painting subcontractor & did not know they were painting the exterior until midmorning when a friend informed us.

Needless to say I am both concerned about this and dissapointed.

Your input would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 01:22 PM
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Mike find out if it was an oil or latex paint. This probably wasnt a good idea. Their are certain latex products that you can spread down to 35F, any colder than that is really pushing it. At least I would never consider it when doing a job.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 03:32 PM
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Most latex products can be applied as low as 50 degrees F, some alkyd products as low as 40 degrees F. The minimum temperatures are listed on the can. I sure would not go below that, if I did not want to have the do the work over again later.
 
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Old 01-09-04, 03:34 PM
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I don't do hardly any exteriors anymore, but if I was to do one, I would consider those temps way too cold. I live in St. Louis, so our temp yesterday was about the same. I would have been shocked to see anyone painting outside in this weather.

As for the longevity or integrity issue, I'm not sure what the consequences would be. I do know that latex or oil would take forever to dry in those conditions, even if sprayed.

Are you sure they weren't just priming?

I would also be loud and clear when I told the GC that I wanted a good reason for that.
 
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Old 01-15-04, 11:04 AM
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Update

Not too happy currently on exterior paint issue.

Spoke with painting sub, (spoke w/ owner) first he said the temperature that day was 5F higher than it actually was, then he went on to say that if you use special low temp paint you could even paint below 32F. I asked, so did you use the low temp paint? His response: Yes.

However I cut the labels off a couple of the empty paint cans and wrote down whatever #'s were on the lids. The paint was Sherwin Williams Shurflow, 100% Acrilic (sp) Latex, exterior paint. The label says both the surface & air temp should be no lower than 40F, and remain above 40F for 24 hours after application. (That was certainly ignored) I then called Sherwin Williams and they confirmed the 40F level and also confirmed that no special additive existed by SW to bring the applicaiton temp lower.

Like I said, I am not happy. My wife and I are putting all this inofrmation down in a letter to my general contractor for his response. We decided to wait until the painter was basically completed because we did not want an angry painting sub taking out his anger on the rest of the house. However I have been at the house nearly every day and the quality of his interior work & prep appears excellent. He appears to be a reputable painting contractor and has been in the business for several years. I think they painted the outside those two days to somehow stay within a certain time schedule they wanted to keep. Sad thing is, the last week has been very warm (50's and even 60).

My problem is, what can be done now. Problems with the exterior paint will most likely not show up for a year or two. I had hoped to get at least 5 years from the first painting. I certainly won't have any leverage once I have closed on the house. While the paint sub could be long gone in a year or two, he is building his onw new house just 4 blocks down the street.

What can I reasonably expect the CG or the painting sub to do? Powerwash the house & repaint this summer? Give me back $4,000 or so that I may get the house repainted in a couple of years? Don't think that will happen.

Comments & suggestions are certainly welcome.

Mike
 
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Old 01-15-04, 02:43 PM
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Sherwin-Williams Low-Temp 35 is the only paint I know of that you can apply down to a temp of 35 degreesF. Diamond-Vogel also has a new product which can be applied as a first coat in cold winter months then when it warms up the second coat which is a latex product is then applied. Subs I know in WI here use the low=temp 35 only when they absolutely have too. I can't give you advice on what to do however/ sorry
 
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Old 01-15-04, 04:47 PM
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My wife and I are putting all this inofrmation down in a letter to my general contractor for his response.
Send a copy to your lawyer too.

We decided to wait until the painter was basically completed because we did not want an angry painting sub taking out his anger on the rest of the house.
Good idea.
I think they painted the outside those two days to somehow stay within a certain time schedule they wanted to keep.
Most likely.
My problem is, what can be done now
Nothing. Hope for the best. Keep your eye on them and make sure they know it.
What can I reasonably expect the CG or the painting sub to do? Powerwash the house & repaint this summer? Give me back $4,000 or so that I may get the house repainted in a couple of years? Don't think that will happen.
I don't think so either.

Your best shot at fixing this problem was stopping them before they started, schedule or not. But since this wasn't an option, all you can do is hope the paint will perform for at least 5 years.

I will talk to my paint supplier tomorrow and ask him what the specific failures would be in this case. Tune in Fri. night and I'll post the answers.
 
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Old 01-19-04, 05:00 PM
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Sorry it took so long to get back with this. I asked a few different people, got pretty much the same answer.

It was all pretty technical and full of chemistry, so I'll post the abridged version.

Basically, the water (vehicle) in the paint would not 'evaporate' out of the paint, instead it would freeze and 'crystallize'. In doing this, it would not promote adhesion to the substrate by the 'binder' ingredient.

The 'resins' would not harden properly, creating a smaller than recommended 'DFT'. dried film thickness; usually all paints come with XX mils DFT.

To complicate matters further, the water would then thaw as the temp. allowed, causing moisture underneath the dried film, which is probably already too thin to begin with.

The end result of this would be premature paint failure in the form of 'peeling' or 'alligatoring'. When and/or if this will happen is the $64,000 question.

And most exterior painters should be checking the surfaces with a 'moisture meter', and should be well aware of the dewpoint.
 
 

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